Beirut, Lebanon, August 27th 2013 -- Cancer patients in Lebanon have gained access to fast and precise radiotherapy and radiosurgery treatments with the clinical deployment of the country’s first Varian TrueBeam™ medical linear accelerator. A 24-year-old man with sino-nasal cancer was the first person in Lebanon to be treated on the newly-installed TrueBeam system at the Hotel-Dieu de France Hospital (HDF) of the University of St Joseph in Beirut.
The patient received RapidArc® volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) to help spare the parotid glands from exposure during treatment. “We were able to deliver his treatment in just two continuous arcs or rotations of the machine rather than having to stop and start the machine to deliver the treatment beam from different angles,” said Dr. Elie Nasr, professor and chairman of HDF. “The integrated imaging enabled us to carefully align the patient every day and showed us the progress of the treatment as we saw the tumor shrinking over the course of treatment. By sharing this information with the patient we are able to reassure them and increase their commitment to the treatment.”
In the six months since that first treatment, a further 75 patients have been treated using the TrueBeam system, almost all of them using the RapidArc delivery system. Most of these patients have needed treatment for prostate or head & neck cancer, although doctors at HDF have also commenced breast cancer treatments using respiratory gating, where the beam automatically switches on and off in tandem with the patient’s breathing cycle. The department has also introduced a program of advanced stereotactic radiosurgery treatments using the TrueBeam system for cranial conditions such as acoustic neuromas, brain metastasis, and cavernous sinus meningioma.
“TrueBeam is a versatile system able to handle different treatment techniques covering multiple clinical situations,” said Dr. Nasr. “Until we installed TrueBeam we only offered our patients 3D conformal treatments but we are now able to routinely offer RapidArc image-guided VMAT treatments for all prostate cancer patients. This technique delivers high quality treatment plans while keeping treatment time to a minimum, which translates into short treatment times for patients.”
Designed to treat a moving tumor with speed and accuracy, Varian’s TrueBeam system incorporates numerous technical innovations that dynamically synchronize imaging, patient positioning, motion management, and treatment delivery during a radiotherapy or radiosurgery procedure. TrueBeam has been designed to advance the treatment of lung, breast, intracranial, prostate, head and neck, and other types of cancer.
Historically a reference center for cancer treatment for the entire middle-east region, Hotel-Dieu de France Hospital was renovated and equipped with modern radiation therapy machines after the end of the country’s civil war. Since clinical activity resumed in 2001, over 7,000 patients have received modern radiotherapy treatments and the department today treats more than 700 new patients each year from Lebanon and across the middle-east.
Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068
More information on Hotel-Dieu de France Hospital can be found at: http://www.hdf.usj.edu.lb/radiotherapie/
Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,350 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit http://www.varian.com or follow us on Twitter.